Voters in three states went to the polls on Tuesday and have given the media and pundits something to talk about. With the 2020 election only 12 months away, there’s a question on everyone’s mind – is the 2019 election a predictor of President Trump’s potential victory or defeat in 2020?
Today we’ll take a deep dive into the results.
Kentucky Is Not an Upset
Watch, listen, or read any of the mainstream media critiques of the Kentucky governor’s race and you might believe that Trump was a liability to the incumbent Republican. On the contrary, Trump’s efforts were beneficial to the GOP cause.
Governor Matt Bevin (R-KY) was extremely vulnerable. As revealed by several polls, he was down by as much as 20 points just two weeks ago.
Enter President Trump
At the last minute, Trump held a rally to encourage voters to support Bevin. As of the time of this publishing, Bevin is slightly behind, but the race is still close enough that Bevin has no reason to concede.
Responding in a tweet, Trump believes that his rally closed the gap and made the Governor’s race competitive and helped other down-ballot candidates.
Our big Kentucky Rally on Monday night had a massive impact on all of the races. The increase in Governors race was at least 15 points, and maybe 20! Will be in Louisiana for @EddieRispone on Wednesday night. Big Rally!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2019
In order to be competitive, Bevin needed to nationalize the race and hope that Trump could help secure another four years in the Governor’s mansion. The fact is that Bevin had very low approval ratings throughout most of his term. He was already working against the tide.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement:
“President Trump’s rally helped five of six Kentucky Republicans win clear statewide victories, including Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron, who will be the first black A.G. in Kentucky history and the first Republican to hold the office since 1948. The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end. A final outcome remains to be seen.”
Not Quite Enough
Although it’s sad to say, it’s of little surprise that Bevin lost, even in a very red state. Bevin lost to Andy Beshar in a 49.2% to 48.8% vote. In light of a potential flaw with these razor-thin margins, Bevin is calling for a vote recanvas by stating “The people of Kentucky deserve a fair and honest election. With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted.”
The media and Democrats may assume they have Kentucky wrapped up for 2020, but there is more to this story. Republicans won five other statewide offices. One of those was a historic race that saw Daniel Cameron (R) defeat former Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D) to become the state’s first African-American attorney general.
Bevin wasn’t the strongest incumbent candidate. So, using the 2019 election to forecast the 2020 presidential election in Kentucky is likely not an indicator that Trump or Republicans are vulnerable there. Especially when both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are on the ballot.
The Deep South Is Secure for Trump
In the south, Trump has strong support from among the base as well as conservative independents. On Tuesday, Republicans swept the Mississippi Governor’s race and six other statewide offices. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves (R-MS) defeated Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D).
Trump’s campaign manager also commented on this victory.
“President Trump’s rally and endorsement in Mississippi undoubtedly had an impact and helped Governor-elect Tate Reeves nail down his victory. Governor Reeves will be a tremendous conservative leader for Mississippians in fighting for freedom and keeping taxes low.”
Hood was the best-funded Democrat running for Governor in Mississippi in over ten years. Both Trump and Vice-President Pence traveled to Mississippi to campaign for Reeves who is completing his second term as lieutenant governor after serving two terms as the elected state treasurer.
Republican Success Mean’s Trump is the Real Winner
Tuesday’s results were not about Republicans or Trump as much as it was about individual candidates. While the mainstream media is working overtime to convince us that Trump was the loser in Kentucky and other areas, the facts don’t support this assertion. In Kentucky, the statewide office wins were secured by traditional Republican votes and it was a sweeping Republican victory in Mississippi.
Ultimately, every election is dependent upon the quality of the candidates. Trump’s attempt at rescuing Bevin made the Kentucky governor’s race competitive — in fact, too close to call. Without Trump’s support, it would have been a disaster.
The bottom line is, wherever Trump campaigns he acts as a positive force for Republican party candidates in traditionally red states. Trump also continues to demonstrate that he is going to be very competitive in next year’s election in much of the Rust Belt and the South. Trump will certainly have to be if he’s going to win re-election.
Copyright 2019, UnitedVoice.com